Chair Design

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Forum topic by Ries posted 07-12-2011 10:11 PM 1171 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ries's profile


21 posts in 2803 days

07-12-2011 10:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Anyone know if there is a standard for the rake or “back lean” (if that is a term) on a dinning room chair?
Is it a degree or does anything go in this area?



-- the life so short, the craft so long to learn

8 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1731 posts in 2808 days

#1 posted 07-12-2011 11:13 PM

I recall looking for the same info some 20 yrs ago. What I learned then is that there was not a standard perse but only specifications for certain styles etc. They are all over the place. High backs will vary from lowbacks. Formal will vary from casual. Try 8-13 degrees and see what you come up with. And remember there are no chair back angle police.

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2691 days

#2 posted 07-12-2011 11:14 PM

I’m thinking somewhere between 10°- 15°. I recently made a porch swing and choose 13° of rake for the back of it. Make it what you are comfortable with.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2639 days

#3 posted 07-12-2011 11:16 PM

Just use an angle finder on a church pew, then double it !

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3073 days

#4 posted 07-13-2011 12:13 AM

I actually researched this when I was building a chair a couple of years ago. I found some guidelines but I don’t know how official they were. The guidelines grouped chairs into 3 categories: formal, dining and casual. I recall there was a range for each with some overlap but I don’t remember the exact numbers for the ranges but I do recall that 5, 10 and 15 degrees seemed to be about the midpoint of each range.

Despite all the guidelines, I recommend finding a dining room chair that feels right to you (visit a furniture store) and take a measurement.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View KnickKnack's profile


1089 posts in 3565 days

#5 posted 07-13-2011 09:11 AM

TimeLife’s “The Art of Woodworking – Building Chairs” gives these dimensions/angles…

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Ries's profile


21 posts in 2803 days

#6 posted 07-14-2011 10:31 PM

Thanks guys.

-- the life so short, the craft so long to learn

View Nollie's profile


146 posts in 2785 days

#7 posted 07-24-2011 04:30 PM

I have made some diningroom chairs and found that a 7 dgree back is very comfortable

-- Leon .

View lysdexic's profile


5254 posts in 2622 days

#8 posted 07-24-2011 05:26 PM

I came across a video podcast from Woodworkers resource that was a presentation give by Brian Boggs at WIA. It is a big file and the video is about an hour long. But in it he talks about all kinds of chair design topics. It may be of interest to you. He does address chair back angle specifically.

Boggs on Chair Design

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

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